Vous êtes ici

The Camino Francés

Entre Burgos et Hontanas (Espagne)


The Camino Francés, thus named because of the "Franks" and the pilgrims coming from France, is both the most legendary and the most cosmopolitan of the Spanish Ways. This route was a axis of population along the frontier with the Moors. You get to it via Navarre (the Roncevaux pass from Saint Jean pied de Port, or from Aragon (Le Somport pass from Oloron Sainte Marie).

Dotted along it are places which form a résumé of European religious art, in which all its styles exist side by side. The route is suffused with the devotion to St. James, not to mention to a crowd of other saints. The Camino Francés was placed on the World Heritage List in 1993.

The big moment on the itinerary is the crossing of the Meseta, a wide plateau exposed to the merciless sun in summer, formidable when storms break out, and swept by a freezing wind in winter. It lies between Burgos and Léon. O Cebreiro, 1300m in altitude, is the other high point on the Camino, before starting the descent towards the gentle countryside of Galicia. It was once in the possession of the Abbey of St. Géraud d'Aurilllac.

This itinerary is very well supplied with accommodation. It is very well indicated, with a multitude of signs, arrows and other waymarks. A large number of people use it, and this in itself constitutes a kind of visual indicator of the route. It sees numerous walkers and cyclists, particularly in summer and over the final 100 kilometres. The large numbers using it from June to September may dissuade veterans and those seeking spiritual refreshment.

Learn more about detailed stages, maps, accomodation...